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Google tries to patent technology that snoops Wi-Fi networks
Category : General 04 Jun 2010 09:43 AM | Industry News
Last month, Google admitted that it collected by mistake bits of private information that people send over unencrypted wireless networks while gathering Street View data. But the plaintiffs' lawyers disagree:
Google has employed one or more of the methods disclosed in the '776 Application to collect, decode, analyze, store, and make beneficial use of wireless data (including payload data) it collected from plaintiffs and class members.The amended complaint also alleges that Google violated Title 47 of the U.S. Code and is asking that Google be forced to pay up to $100,000 to each person whose data it obtained.
A patent application published in January describes a method devised by Google for gathering and analyzing data sent via wireless access points. The application says the device "may be placed in a vehicle and data may be obtained continuously or at predetermined time increments" and that the speed of the vehicle "may be factored into the analysis," according to lawyers suing Google on behalf of people whose traffic may have been collected by the technology.